This morning we began our worship service with our Pastor letting the congregation know that a man in our church family was struggling with cancer and needed our prayers. The important thing is that the man was asked to come to the front with our Pastor, his wife and family were asked to join him, and our church family was asked to come and surround the family and lay hands on him.
Without hesitation, 100-150+ people got out of their seats, came forward and "carried each others burdens". It was a beautiful sight.
The music, message and everything else in our service this morning were important, but I believe those first few minutes are defining. They reveal the heart of who we are. They expose the heart of our Pastor and our family. Thank you Father that we have come to the place of recognizing that you have called us to pray. You have called us to lift each other up. Remember, PRAYER is the greater work.
How often does someone share their need with us only to have us affectionately reply, "I'll pray for you." What a load. What a big fat load. When someone lays their burdens out on the table, exposes the hurt or the need, carrying that burden means picking it up then...immediately. WHY do we wait? WHY do we waiver? Are we afraid to pray? Do we not have the time or the patience to just stop and do the greater work?
I thank God for my Dad who always set the example for me to pray NOW. On the phone, in the office, in the airport, at the table. When someone needs prayer...PRAY. I thank God for our Pastor who constantly sets the example that there is no greater work for us corporately than to surround those in our family and approach the Father on their behalf. Prayer is the greater work. Now is the time.
And if the schedule has to be disrupted, if plans have to be put on hold, if the music has to wait...so be it. "Always pray".